[Patreon-Nov16-Post-Bug][/Patreon-Nov16-Post-Bug]Today I’ll tackle the three WildCAT spinoffs published to date – Warblade’s mini-series, a Grifter One-Shot, and a Maul solo story in Image Rarities.
While Grifter eventually getting his own title was fait accompli, at this point it feels like Warblade is the least deserving of all the WildCATs who merited their own sideline series. At least Maul has the dichotomy of being a modern art loving nerd by day and a massive purple hulk on the battlefield. Maybe that’s why Warblade needed his own series so badly – because his narrative arc had been treading water ever since Killer Instinct.
Hearing Warblade’s internal monologue across four issues helps to solidify his character. He isn’t ruled by rage at all times as we’ve seen in the heat of so many battles. He can be cool and analytical, but he’s also not the best tactician, which leads him into unfortunate situations when his rage takes over and he prepares to strike.
Steven Seagle delivers solid workmanship and well-structured issues, which is exactly what WildStorm needs in growing out its cast of characters. Scott Clark’s name is welcome sight on pencils, having disappeared for several months after his stellar work launching Stormwatch. His output isn’t quite up to that par, with his figures getting increasingly gawky starting in issue #3.
By contrast, Grifter has been the breakout star of WildCATs from their first issue, which makes his flaccid one-shot a puzzler. Steven Seagle spends as much time having Grifter think about women as objects as he does having him show any kind of charm or expertise. The story adds a useless layer of backstory in addition to Zealot’s training and Team 7. It feels like the worst sort of Marvel book, that adds in layers of complicated history just because it can and then is quickly ignored (usually because, like this one, it kills all of its interesting new characters).
Finally, we come to Maul, the art-loving romantic who is also the WildCATs’ biggest bruiser. He was highlighted in an original story by Mark Waid called “Thinking Big” in Wildstorm Rarities. It’s a quick tossaway tale about Maul catching a runaway jet in his hands, but it makes clear that even in his smaller iterations as Maul the intelligence he has as Jeremy is inaccessible. It’s these little human moments that WildCATs had been missing – but, it also didn’t have a master like Mark Waid writing it.
Want the full details? Keep reading for a deeper breakdown of the plot. Here’s the schedule for the rest of this month’s WildStorm re-read. Tomorrow, finally, it’s back to Stormwatch with#17-21 & Special 02! Plus, while I’ve got a copy of WildStorm Rarities handy, I’ll cover the other stories from that issue – which occurred quite some time ago in continuity.
Need the issues? None of these issues have been collected, so you’ll need to hunt them down as singles (though Grifter and Rarities are actually both perfect-bound books): Warblade: Endangered Species (Amazon / eBay), Grifter: One Shot (Amazon / eBay), and WildStorm Rarities (Amazon / eBay), which is a perfect-bound book with a spine.